Player Quick Pick: #QP14

Molly Jo Rosen

July 6th, 2014

by Molly Jo Rosen

Woodbine race 11 | 5:38 pm ET Queen’s Plate for 3yo going 1-1/4 mi. (A)

1-Cap in Hand: hasn’t don’t much wrong, but always steps up in only 2nd time v. winners 2-Coltimus Prime: back-to-back big efforts & should appreciate the stretch-out 3-Athenian Guard: line-through last for 2nd back off the layoff 4-Asserting Bear: Horse4Course always runs his race 5-Man o’ Bear: blinkers back on for 2nd back off the layoff 6-We Miss Artie: impressive winner of the Plate Trial is best on syntheticsMi 7-Majestic Sunset: lone maiden in the field has run back-to-back-to-back big efforts 8-Lions Bay: yet to run a bad race 9-Heart to Heart: speed has to hold on after near-miss last out 10-Matador: drew off like a good thing with confidence win getting back on the synthetic last out 11-One Destiny: always right there at the wire 12-Tower of Texas: exotics specialist may not always win, but always runs his race 13-Niigon Express: consistent closer gets a new rider 14-Lexie Lou: lone filly in the field is exceptionally consistent 15-Ami’s Holiday: has proven able to overcome trouble & still finish well

Having already been a fan, I didn’t think I could like Woodbine any more than I did when – back in 2009 - I had the great fun of attending the Queen’s Plate. What a great day! If you’re a fan of big race days like the Kentucky Derby or Breeders’ Cup: watch this Sunday at Woodbine ~ the Toronto-area track does it so right!

This year features a full field that turns out to be quite the handicapping puzzle.

For me, I’m going to try and beat We Miss Artie: I know he’s a solid favorite and is unbeaten on the synthetic, but there’s no fun in just picking the chalk. Now the hard part: if not him, then who?

The filly Lexie Lou is certainly intriguing. I was a huge fan of Inglorious when she was in and the daughter of Sligo Bay has proven just as consistent coming into this signature event. I like that she’s proven to overcome a wide trip and has speed, but doesn’t need the lead to win.

After reading the quotes from trainer Michael DePaulo earlier in the week about why Athenian Guard ducked in and dropped the rider last out, I’m inclined to throw him on the ticket for the exotics: the effort off the layoff was good and he probably needed it (after all, you can only get so fit in morning works ~ horses will often need a race to get back up to peak performance).

Majestic Sunset intrigues me too… yes he’s a maiden, but the last three starts have all been within two lengths of the wire and he was just nipped at the wire by ‘Artie last out. It’s only a matter of time til this guy finds the winner’s circle and it’s hard to ignore him at the price he’s going to be.

Other horses to consider: Tower of Texas (so consistent, just unlucky to not be a multiple winner for the great Roger Attfield), Ami’s Holiday (always right there at the wire), the talented Coltimus Prime, Man o’ Bear (+blinks for 2nd back off the layoff).